BVLGARI Luxury Hotels & Resorts: What Are They?

BVLGARI Luxury Hotels & Resorts: What Are They?

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Want to take advantage of the Marriott STARS program to receive extra perks (like breakfast and upgrades) at BVLGARI? Contact [email protected] for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

There are a couple of brands belonging to Marriott that tend to cause confusion. One of those brands is Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the other is BVLGARI Luxury Hotels & Resorts. I recently wrote about the basics of Ritz-Carlton Reserve (and what makes the brand different than Ritz-Carlton), and in this post wanted to talk a bit about BVLGARI.

BVLGARI doesn’t participate in Marriott Bonvoy

BVLGARI hotels don’t in any way participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program, even though the hotels are displayed on marriott.com. When staying at BVLGARI properties:

  • You can’t earn Bonvoy points
  • You can’t redeem Bonvoy points
  • You don’t receive any sort of elite recognition if you have Bonvoy status

For all practical purposes, think of BVLGARI as not being part of Marriott, except the brand is bookable through Marriott booking channels. BVLGARI does participate in Marriott STARS, meaning that when booking through an eligible travel agent you can receive perks like free breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, and a room upgrade subject to availability.

I’m sharing BVLGARI’s lack of participation in Bonvoy upfront, because I don’t want people getting excited over these properties, only to realize at the end of this post that these hotels don’t participate in the Bonvoy program.

BVLGARI Bali

The basics of BVLGARI hotels

BVLGARI (or Bvlgari, or Bulgari — the “V” in place of “U” is intended to reflect the Roman alphabet) is an Italian luxury brand known for watches, fragrances, jewelry, leather goods, etc.

Over time the company has launched collaborations to get into other spaces, and one of those collaborations has been for hotels. BVLGARI currently operates six hotels, with a further five in the pipeline.

BVLGARI got into the hotel space as part of a collaboration with Ritz-Carlton (which is owned by Marriott), and the first property opened in 2004. The portfolio has grown at a slow pace, with the second hotel opening two years later (in 2006), the third hotel opening six years after that (in 2012), and then the fourth and fifth hotels opening five years after that (in 2017).

For what it’s worth, here’s how the hotel group describes itself:

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts aims to be the leading luxury hospitality collection in the world. Comprised of a few, selected properties in major cosmopolitan cities and luxury resorts destinations, its aim is to convey the excitement of the Bvlgari brand, its timeless glamour and its heritage of magnificent Roman jeweller.

BVLGARI Dubai

BVLGARI hotel & resort locations

Currently BVLGARI has six hotels, in the following six locations:

BVLGARI London

In addition to the properties currently open, there are another five BVLGARI hotels expected to open in the next few years:

BVLGARI Rome

The best way to book a BVLGARI stay

The best way to book a stay at a BVLGARI property is through a travel advisor who is affiliated with the Marriott STARS program. When booking through a Marriott STARS travel advisor, you’ll receive the following additional perks:

  • Complimentary full or continental breakfast daily for up to two people per room
  • Hotel credit valued at 100USD once per stay
  • Room upgrade, subject to availability at check-in
  • Complimentary basic Wi-Fi daily
  • In-person welcome
  • Personalized welcome amenity and note

A few things to note:

  • Many Marriott STARS travel advisors don’t charge any booking fees for BVLGARI stays; Ford doesn’t, and can be reached at [email protected]
  • In order to be eligible for Marriott STARS perks, you’ll generally have to book the flexible/standard rate, which should be among the lowest rates available
  • You’re better off booking through Marriott STARS rather than programs like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts because upgrades are prioritized for Marriott STARS guests; that’s because this is Marriott’s own proprietary program
BVLGARI Beijing

Has anyone stayed at a BVLGARI property?

Over the years I’ve found myself checking rates at BVLGARI many times, and I can never decide whether I think these properties sound great, or if this is kind of like when a celebrity chef opens an airport restaurant.

A few things stand out:

  • Often boutique luxury hotel brands open resorts in vacation destinations, but BVLGARI is largely in some of the most competitive luxury hotel markets in the world, like London, Paris, Dubai, etc.
  • I get that BVLGARI properties probably have a big focus on design, and I can guess what toiletries they use, but is there anything else that makes the group unique in terms of services, amenities, etc.? Most luxury hotel brands have something that set them apart, but I can’t figure out what that is here.
  • In many cases I’ve found that BVLGARI properties are disproportionately expensive, even compared to other top luxury hotels in cities; does anyone know what the primary demographic is for BVLGARI hotels, because I don’t actually know many people who have stayed at them (I feel like not many Americans stay at them)?

Along those lines, I’d certainly love to hear from someone who has stayed at a BVLGARI property. How was the stay, would you return, and which BVLGARI property is the best?

BVLGARI Milan

Bottom line

BVLGARI’s hotel collection started as a joint venture with Ritz-Carlton, which is how it’s connected to Marriott. Unfortunately for Marriott Bonvoy members, these hotels don’t in any way participate in the loyalty program, meaning you can’t earn or redeem points, and can’t take advantage of elite benefits when staying with the BVLGARI brand.

I’ve long been intrigued by BVLGARI properties. While Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties at least have some association with Ritz-Carlton based on the name, BVLGARI has always been an oddball to me.

The properties look gorgeous, and are priced accordingly. What I’m curious about is if there’s any substance to these hotels, or if this hotel group is simply a luxury brand cashing in on its name?

Has anyone stayed at a BVLGARI property? If so, what was your experience like?

Want to take advantage of the Marriott STARS program to receive extra perks (like breakfast and upgrades) at BVLGARI? Contact [email protected] for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.
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  1. Julian Gorman

    Staying at the Bali resort. I am a Marriott Ambassador member and live in Bali and have used the Covid period to stay in many of the luxury resorts on weekends for the experience. Due to low numbers many resorts have some restaurants closed or other reduced services including Bulgati but in responding to the points you raise I would place it alongside St Regis in quality of service and resort however from design and...

    Staying at the Bali resort. I am a Marriott Ambassador member and live in Bali and have used the Covid period to stay in many of the luxury resorts on weekends for the experience. Due to low numbers many resorts have some restaurants closed or other reduced services including Bulgati but in responding to the points you raise I would place it alongside St Regis in quality of service and resort however from design and finish less of the gold versaci esque style that St Regis likes. The only real unique feature is the Bulgari store on site which for Indonesia is 1 of only 2 stores. Not a valuable feature for me or the name especially given I get no Marriott benefits but for my wife, Russians, wealthy old Indonesian and a few Arabs seems to be of value (mostly feedback from manager as very low occupancy during covid). Bali has a similar size St Regis resort which I would choose over Bulgari normally but especially during Covid as its Kayaputi restaurant is fine dining, it's about 10% cheaper on like for like villa and I get full Ambassador benefits including upgrade making it even better financially. Nevertheless Bulgari did upgrade us, allow early check in and have said we can check out as late as we want... but only 5 of 59 villas are full so every minute we spend at the pool with our frozen margarita's is valuable to them.

  2. Stefano

    Did throw a “fabulous” ;) birthday party once at BVLGARI Milan. The restaurant is top notch, and the garden is the place to be in the summer for a refreshing aperitivo.

  3. Tozzer

    Dunno but I always seem to read Bvlgari as Vulgari

  4. MKLDH

    Been to the one in Shanghai. Absolute waste of time and money. Fancy but vulgar decoration, astonishingly low level of service for a "luxury" hotel, along with a ridiculous price tag. Trust me you can easily find better alternatives in Shanghai

  5. nick

    Isn`t Bulgari in the same line as Cheval Blanc, La Reserve, etc. just really luxurious and high end hotels? And the price at some Bulgari Hotels isn't even as high as at these other hotels. You can book the Bulgari London for 500 Euro and the cheapest price at La Reserve Ramatuelle is 900 Euro in off season per night.

  6. Grenn

    Kinda like Baccarat Hotels? Run by SH Hotels/Starwood Cap who also seem to run 1 Hotels... so many brands. Anyone know of RH Lodging - formerly Restoration Hardware going from “lifestyle furnishings” into hotels? There’s a 12-14 unit property being converted in NYC’s Meatpacking District.

  7. Kevin

    Thought about staying with them at Bali but ended up going with Amankila as Aman in that part of Asia is tried and true. I thought Bulgari is managed by Marriott with Marriott level of service (ie what they think great service is vs. actual great service). @DC-PHLyer, sounds like Bulgari only uses Marriott online reservation system but everything else is up to Bulgari level? Ie. I’m not gonna be nicked and dimed and every...

    Thought about staying with them at Bali but ended up going with Amankila as Aman in that part of Asia is tried and true. I thought Bulgari is managed by Marriott with Marriott level of service (ie what they think great service is vs. actual great service). @DC-PHLyer, sounds like Bulgari only uses Marriott online reservation system but everything else is up to Bulgari level? Ie. I’m not gonna be nicked and dimed and every request made is answered with a smile and can do attitude? Is the service level like Aman? Ie. I only have to tell bartender once that I like xyz drink during dinner time and without fail, every dinner the correct drink shows up without asking?

  8. Tim

    Do the nights count toward status?

  9. Benjamin

    Bottom line, like Aman, they don't NEED a loyalty program to attract people.

    Their clientele can pay the rate and don't redeem points to get to the suites.

    I've stayed with them in London and Dubai. I'd put them in the same category as the the most tip-top Four Seasons properties. It's effortless service and many incredibly well-done small details.

    Like others have said here, if you have the cash, it's a nice place to hang your hat.

  10. Joe

    Lol. I don't disparage a place like this because people want to be among their own every now and then. That's why there are chinatowns, little italys, latin quarters, gay districts etc. But I probably wouldn't feel comfortable staying at a place like this. I still need to rely on points whereas these guests spend enough per meal to qualify for full year benefits on their cc.

  11. Rob

    BVLGARI Milan is great - excellent location, beautiful garden, good service, nice design etc. It's top class. Clientele? Rich and famous. Including locals ( restaurant/bar ). Is it worth the money? it is - if you can afford.

  12. Josh

    Boring. Russian oligarchs and crazy rich Chinese kids.

  13. [email protected]

    I think the choice of an Italian modernist building in Rome is great. This architecture deserves preservation and we should not “cancel” it because of the politics of when it was built. The canals of St. Petersburg were by serfs. Slaves built the Pyramids and most of the fine temples we all visit in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean. Queen Victoria basically created the third world, but nobody is cancelling the Victorian architecture style. Building...

    I think the choice of an Italian modernist building in Rome is great. This architecture deserves preservation and we should not “cancel” it because of the politics of when it was built. The canals of St. Petersburg were by serfs. Slaves built the Pyramids and most of the fine temples we all visit in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean. Queen Victoria basically created the third world, but nobody is cancelling the Victorian architecture style. Building styles like Italian Modernism and Soviet Realism have many fine examples and they deserve thoughtful preservation. So although I’ll probably never stay at a Bulgari hotel, I’m impressed by their decision to invest in and reinvigorate a fine example of their country’s architectural history.

  14. Mik

    Bulgari Milano is one of the finest addresses in town. The Sunday brunch is to die for and the garden is ideal for an aperitif in the sun.

  15. DC-PHLyer

    Did work with them. Happy to answer questions about them. It’s a very complex relationship with Marriott and quite an interesting venture financially and in terms of branding. The BVLGARI hotel brand is not managed by Marriott in the same way as RC or RC Reserve, it is primarily managed by the actual BVLGARI hotel team which is more in line with the BVLGARI brand in terms of reporting structure.

  16. Sam

    Wow the new Rome one looks fabulous. Can't wait to give it a try.

  17. The Original Donna

    The new Rome Hotel looks like it will be amazing. I’m sure the pricing will be extreme but I’d definitely book it if I had cash to burn. The video was really well done, as one might expect from a luxury brand.

  18. FNT Delta Diamond

    Bulgari is (or used to be) run by Ritz-Carlton division of Marriott International. Just like Edition.

  19. flying_foxy

    Was at Bvlgari Dubai the other day. Stunning property with great service.
    Love the Milan one, have stayed there many times and it’s held up very well over the years. As someone else suggested it’s like an oasis in the middle of Milan just around the corner from busy Via Montenapoleone and the garden bar and restaurant is popular with a chic crowd of locals and visitors.
    They’ve always delivered for me on an FHR room upgrade too.

  20. JonH

    The dubai property is simply one of the finest in the world (any brand)..... the level of service/attention to detail/rooms/food next next next level - while expensive by dubai standards rest assured (other than the ridiculous wine prices) it is spectacular!!!!!!!!

  21. Mark

    I haven't stayed at one, however I did attend a wedding at the Bulgari Bali (I chose to stay at a much more affordable place down the road). Comparing the Bulgari (at lease in Bali) to an Aman wouldn't be a stretch, all villas have pools and ocean views. The service was great from what I could tell and everything was beautifully done. I did find the rooms incredibly dark (everything was black). Would I...

    I haven't stayed at one, however I did attend a wedding at the Bulgari Bali (I chose to stay at a much more affordable place down the road). Comparing the Bulgari (at lease in Bali) to an Aman wouldn't be a stretch, all villas have pools and ocean views. The service was great from what I could tell and everything was beautifully done. I did find the rooms incredibly dark (everything was black). Would I stay there, absolutely. But, I think I could get just as perfect rooms and service for half the price elsewhere on Bali.

  22. echo

    As a former Marriott associate, we often had access to a 329 GBP rate at Bulgari London. I contemplated trying it many times, but could never stomach paying the differential to stay there over some of the other fantastic Marriott properties in the city that we had access to for half or a third the cost...maybe one day.

  23. Jkjkjk

    Bvlgari bali was ok. Zen place. Good to relax. Not best hotel experience ever. Everything is expensive. Socialite and instagram celebrities kind of place with many crazy rich asians...

  24. Andrew

    They’re hotels .... like Cheval Blanc and le Toiny. The Dubai one is huge (in terms of rooms) but makes up for it with the Yacht Club and Private Villas with decent enough pools and private cabanas on the insanely hot beach. Milan is off the beaten track but near everything and feels away from it all. I think the best part is that among them all from Dubai to Milan to London they have...

    They’re hotels .... like Cheval Blanc and le Toiny. The Dubai one is huge (in terms of rooms) but makes up for it with the Yacht Club and Private Villas with decent enough pools and private cabanas on the insanely hot beach. Milan is off the beaten track but near everything and feels away from it all. I think the best part is that among them all from Dubai to Milan to London they have a consistent level of really good service and tend to really outdo themselves on making events. I had a villa done for a birthday and I don’t think it could have been better.

  25. Super

    @Ben target audience I would imagine is those wealthy enough to trust a travel planner to book everything for them. People who use the word "fabulous" to describe things.

    But in all seriousness, some of the BVLGARI hotels are more on the boutique-size while carrying a big enough name that older, wealthier clients will jump at the opportunity to stay there. People who love going to the hotel bar (that only sits 15-20 people...

    @Ben target audience I would imagine is those wealthy enough to trust a travel planner to book everything for them. People who use the word "fabulous" to describe things.

    But in all seriousness, some of the BVLGARI hotels are more on the boutique-size while carrying a big enough name that older, wealthier clients will jump at the opportunity to stay there. People who love going to the hotel bar (that only sits 15-20 people max) and strike up a conversation with their neighbor and discover they're in the same business and the neighbor is the CEO of X company blah blah blah. You're virtually guaranteed to make these connections here because the price tag keeps all but the wealthiest from staying there, but the boutique size means that only those who are staying at the hotel will go to the bar. You can't do that at a Ritz Carlton (people can use points and they're often too big of hotels, plus people will specifically go to the Ritz to eat and drink who aren't staying there) and you can't do that at too small of a boutique hotel because most people wont know it's there and potentially no hotel bar. It's no different from the exclusive Country Club set.

  26. Samo

    "You don’t receive any sort of elite recognition if you have Bonvoy status" - So it's essentially a regular Marriott property?

  27. bill

    The luxury hotels forum at FT loves BVLGARI in London, although they may not have actually stayed there, either...

  28. Flo

    “ The new Bvlgari Hotel Roma will occupy a magnificent modernist building from the 1930s” — lol, they are literally glorifying Italy’s fascist past. Thanks, I’ll pass.

  29. nate nate

    From a Bonvoy POV, is there any difference with RC Reserve?

    1. Ben

      @ nate nate -- Nope, same thing.

Featured Comments Load all 32 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Julian Gorman

Staying at the Bali resort. I am a Marriott Ambassador member and live in Bali and have used the Covid period to stay in many of the luxury resorts on weekends for the experience. Due to low numbers many resorts have some restaurants closed or other reduced services including Bulgati but in responding to the points you raise I would place it alongside St Regis in quality of service and resort however from design and finish less of the gold versaci esque style that St Regis likes. The only real unique feature is the Bulgari store on site which for Indonesia is 1 of only 2 stores. Not a valuable feature for me or the name especially given I get no Marriott benefits but for my wife, Russians, wealthy old Indonesian and a few Arabs seems to be of value (mostly feedback from manager as very low occupancy during covid). Bali has a similar size St Regis resort which I would choose over Bulgari normally but especially during Covid as its Kayaputi restaurant is fine dining, it's about 10% cheaper on like for like villa and I get full Ambassador benefits including upgrade making it even better financially. Nevertheless Bulgari did upgrade us, allow early check in and have said we can check out as late as we want... but only 5 of 59 villas are full so every minute we spend at the pool with our frozen margarita's is valuable to them.

Stefano

Did throw a “fabulous” ;) birthday party once at BVLGARI Milan. The restaurant is top notch, and the garden is the place to be in the summer for a refreshing aperitivo.

Tozzer

Dunno but I always seem to read Bvlgari as Vulgari

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